On January 27, David Caldwell, Todd Ward, Mike Rahaley and I headed to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to put on an exhibition and clinic at the Chapel Hill Tennis Club (CHTC). I have been involved in many exhibitions, but this one was the first one I have ever participated in where the APTA has played a large role in the creation of a platform tennis program.
Together, with some creative work by Reilly Green Mountain and Rich Green, the APTA is pleased to have been a partner to help CHTC install two courts, the first in the Raleigh-Durham area.
When I first became involved with the APTA, my main goal was to be able to help with the installation of public courts around the country. The Board has worked hard to create a mission statement (see above) and to improve our finances to put us in position to help strong local leaders with the financial burden that goes with purchasing court[...]
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, has two new platform tennis courts. Sure, congratulations are probably in order but does the installation of two new courts merit full-spread coverage in PTM?
Well, yes. You see, these particular courts are different. First of all, they are in the South — not exactly in the paddle mainstream.
But what really sets these courts apart is that they were partially funded by the APTA in its grass roots efforts to grow the game. [enlarge image to read Bowen's full report]
The first National Champions of the season were crowned at Fox Meadow Tennis Club, the first club to have platform tennis courts.
They came from California and Georgia, from Vermont and Pennsylvania, from Albany and Long Island and Westchester, NY, from Connecticut and Massachusetts and New Jersey. Only Region 5 was not represented at the Women's 50+ and 70+ National Championships!
With many assists from Hope Kerr, the Women's 70+ doubled its size from the two previous years. Nine of the 16 participants were new this year! [enlarge image to read full report]
Nationals Chairman Bill Taubner and his staff of volunteers had nearly every angle covered for the week-long platform tennis festivities in Pelham, New York. In a word, the start of the Women's Platform Tennis Nationals could be summed up as soggy. Rain plagued most of Friday, March 22, the first day of the competition. Despite the best efforts of the staff of the New York Athletic Club to dry courts in between showers, by 3 p.m., a substantial shower lasting a solid 40 minutes persisted.
A few games already in play were completed, but as the tired and cold players felt the usually crisp hits of the ball turn into a soggy, hard-tocontrol effort, spectators and fellow competitors drifted away to the dry confines of the clubhouse. There, they waited and hoped for the rain to subside enough for the New York Athletic Club staff to once again bring out the towels and push-blow[...]
Over the course of a season, platform tennis players get an opportunity to eye each other up for strengths and weaknesses and see signs of improvement among their competition.
In 2005, Schmitt and Rothschild ended the season #10 in the country. In 2006, they ended #6 in the country. This year they were seeded 2nd going into the National Championships, but ended the season as #4.
Some teams just keep getting better and it forces the question, "Why?" That's the case with John Schmitt and Dan Rothschild, both of Garden City, New York.
Schmitt said the reason for the team's break-out success this season was their ability to analyze their strengths and weaknesses objectively. [enlarge image to read full profiles]
Gray skies and 30-degree weather opened up the Women's President's Cup Competition but, by mid-afternoon, the skies had cleared to reveal some much needed sun. The three main courts of the New York Athletic Club were surrounded by plywood sheets to protect player's feet from the mud created by the melting snow.
What was perhaps most notable, however, was the way the Region 4 Women's team melted away the competition. Comprised of Heather Prop, Lynne Schneebeck, Jenny Kelly, Sherri Wilson, Nancy Budde, Chris Underwood, Sandra Odenbach, Ann Turner, Karen Henke and Nathalie Lemieux, the team worked hard to win the President's Cup and enjoyed drinks and dinner at the awards ceremony in the New York Athletic Club's main dining hall.
As for the other teams present, all played exceptionally against very evenly-matched competition. Louise Cash of Allendale, New Jersey, played on the Region [...]
The married mix field was a strong draw fielded by 25 Chicago teams and 5 out-of-towner's who got to witness a typical March Chicago snow storm. With all the weather came phenomenal paddle. In through the snow came a local team of Dan and Sarah Williams to win their first national title taking out the 1st seed in a three-set battle in one semi, and then team Odenbach from Rochester N.Y. in another three-setter.
47 teams competed in the Open Mixed. Bobo Delaney and John Milbank defeated Sally Cottingham and Ed Granger, 6-3, 6-3 in one semi. In the other, Susie Keane and Mike Marino defeated Marina Ohimuller and Mike Rahaley 7-6, 6-7, 6-3. The finals saw Delaney and Milbank win 6-3, 6-3 over Keane and Marino.
An expanded version of the 2004 proposal to Fox Meadow was made in July 2010 which contemplated adding a two story wing onto the existing building. In addition another proposal was made to the Village of Scarsdale to renovate their Brite Avenue facility to include a modernize structure to house the Museum and Hall of Fame and act as a "warming hut" and add three new courts.
Fox Meadow terminated the discussions in October citing doubts about the ability of the Platform Tennis Museum and Hall of Fame Foundation (PTMHOFF) to raise the necessary funds and concerns about obtaining all the necessary building and zoning approvals to construct such a facility.
Likewise, the Brite Avenue proposal ran into a number of logistical issues with implementation on Village property.
Source: Robert A. Brown personal communication and Minutes of the PTMHOFF meetings
The National Mens 45's was arguably the strongest ever and players have expressed how exciting all the matches were. In the quarter-finals, Goodspeed/Todd defeated Griffey/Higgins; Mott/Pierce defeated Mangan/Heath; McAvoy/Stefanik defeated Palmer/Harlow; and, Gillespie/Kaufman defeated Hallett/Katz. In the semi-finals, Goodspeed/Todd defeated Mott/Pierce, and McAvoy/Stefanik Defeated Gillespie/Kaufman.
The final was unbelievable. In the first set tie-breaker 9 set points were saved finishing with a 15-13 to Goodspeed/Todd. The final set saw Goodspeed and Todd at their best winning 6-0.
The National Mens 55's had another powerhouse draw. In the semi's, Baird/Irvine defeated Nycum/Estes and Adams/Hayes defeated Brooke/Dyminski.
The final saw four greats with many years history between them. Adams/Hayes had to take an injury time-out during the finals 20 years previous leading wit[...]